Public Safety through Private Action: An economic assessment of BIDs, locks, and citizen cooperation
Given the central role of private individuals and firms in determining the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, and the quality and availability of criminal opportunities, private actions arguably deserve a central role in the analysis of crime and crime prevention policy. But the leading scholarly commentaries on the crime drop during the 1990s have largely ignored the role of the private sector, as have policymakers. Among the potentially relevant trends: growing reporting rates (documented in this paper); the growing sophistication and use of alarms, monitoring equipment and locks; the considerable increase in the employment of private security guards; and the decline in the use of cash. Private actions of this sort have the potential to both reduce crime rates and reduce arrests and imprisonment. Well-designed regulations and programs can encourage effective private action. One creative method to harness private action to cost-effective crime control is the creation of business improvement districts (BIDs). Our quasi-experimental analysis of Los Angeles BIDs demonstrates that the social benefits of BID expenditures on security are a large multiple (about 20) of the private expenditures. Creation and operation of effective BIDs requires a legal infrastructure that helps neighborhoods solve the collective action problem.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2010|
|Publication status:||published as The Role of Private Action in Controlling Crime , Philip J. Cook, John MacDonald. in Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs , Cook, Ludwig, and McCrary. 2011|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Leah Brooks, 2006. "Volunteering To Be Taxed: Business Improvement Districts And The Extra-Governmental Provision Of Public Safety," Departmental Working Papers 2006-04, McGill University, Department of Economics.
- Ted Joyce, 2004. "Did Legalized Abortion Lower Crime?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169-169.
- Marco Gonzalez-Navarro, 2008. "Deterrence and Displacement in Auto Theft," Working Papers 1098, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
- Blackstone, Erwin A. & Buck, Andrew J. & Hakim, Simon, 2005. "Evaluation of alternative policies to combat false emergency calls," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 233-242, May.
- Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
- Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1997.
"Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack,"
NBER Working Papers
5928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 43-77.
- Jens Ludwig & Philip J. Cook, 1999.
"The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data,"
NBER Working Papers
7166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ludwig, Jens & Cook, Philip J, 2001. "The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 207-26, May.
- Philipson, Tomas J & Posner, Richard A, 1996. "The Economic Epidemiology of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 405-33, October.
- Brooks, Leah, 2008. "Volunteering to be taxed: Business improvement districts and the extra-governmental provision of public safety," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 388-406, February.
- Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 163-190, Winter.
- PhilipJ. Cook & Jens Ludwig & Sudhir Venkatesh & AnthonyA. Braga, 2007. "Underground Gun Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages F588-F618, November.
- Clotfelter, Charles T, 1977. "Public Services, Private Substitutes, and the Demand for Protection against Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 867-877, December.
- Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1996.
"Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities,"
NBER Working Papers
5737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15877. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.